Obama creates emergency board to help resolve Philadelphia's commuter rail strike

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By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama is intervening to help resolve Philadelphia's commuter rail strike.

Obama granted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's request to create a presidential emergency board to mediate the contract dispute between the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and its engineers and electricians unions.

Obama ordered the establishment of the three-member board effective at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. He called for "a swift and smooth resolution" of the dispute.

Corbett says the president's action will force workers to return to work immediately and both parties to continue negotiations.

More than 400 workers went on strike at midnight, and no talks were scheduled over the weekend.

Obama is giving the board 30 days to deliver a report recommending how the dispute should be resolved.

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